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Serbian filmmaker Kustirica says Crimea’s reunification with Russia is natural process

July 23, 21:40 UTC+3 YALTA

He noted he had always thought Crimea to be Russian, even before the referendum

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YALTA, July 23. /TASS/. Crimea’s reunification with Russia is a natural, organic process, world-acclaimed Serbian filmmaker and musician Emir Kusturica said on Sunday and called on people living in Crimea to develop their peninsula as part of great Russia, instead of waiting for external approval of their decision.

"There are forces in the world that are seeking to disunite but there are uniting forces," he told a briefing in Crimea’s Yalta before a concert of his group The No Smoking Orchestra.

"When Crimea became part of Russia I thought it had always been Russia. I am here to see Crimea, to see Yalta. There was no warfare here, there was a referendum where people said: ‘We want to live with Russia.’ It is an organic process and I am sure this is what should be done," he said.

He noted that people living in Crime should not expect the Western countries to recognize Crimea as Russia’s. "Don’t expect them to say that. You’d better do what you are doing: a huge airport, good motorways, infrastructure, and Crimea will be beautiful as it is and your life will be in your hands. It doesn’t matter what they think in the West," he stressed.

According to Kusturica, the life of Crimean residents, their culture only prove that Crimea is a part of Russia. "Your life, your culture is the proof that you are Russia. It doesn’t matter what others can say - is Crimea Russia or not. You are part of great Russia. You did what you should have done and you said what you should have said - Yes," he said.

He noted he had always though Crimea to be Russia’s, even before the referendum. "When Crimea became part of Russia I thought it had always been Russia," he said.

Kusturica has promised to visit Sevastopol in 2018. "I will probably visit Sevastopol next year," he told journalists on Sunday. He said that after Yalta he will go to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina and after that will take part in a festival in London. "Then, I will go to China, Japan, Korea, Russia, France, Spain, Mexico, Brazil," he said, adding that the group’s schedule is busy till the end of the year.

"Yalta is among the first to hear my Orchestra’s new album. It will be the premiere of what will be shown later in Europe," he noted. Kusturica also confirmed his plans to see Crimea’s attractions with a view of possible shooting a new film.

Emir Kusturica is a Serbian director whose works have earned him a Golden Palm at the Cannes, a Silver Bear from the Berlin Film Festival and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. In addition, Kusturica plays the guitar in The No Smoking Orchestra.

Kusturica’s film "On the Milky Road" was earlier recognized as the best feature film of the XXVI Golden Knight International Film Festival held in Sevastopol.

He arrived in Crimea on Sunday to give a concert in Yalta and to make a sight-seeing trip around the peninsula.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

Despite the absolutely convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine has been refusing to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.

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